There were quite few significant events that were happening in the world of Bharatanatyam.
There was the Nrityasangama, organized by Smt. Sailaja of Saila Sudha, where a galaxy of stars descended on the stage in Chennai. While, the website Dance Kathas webcasted the event live I don’t know how many rasikas, outside Chennai and in abroad caught the event and enjoyed it. I think there was some technical issue since I only saw the buffering-wheel circling. I gave up after some time. 😦
Then, there was the highly awaited Divinity Series, a three day Bharatanatyam festival in New Delhi that was telecast live on Doordarshan and on Facebook, which I was able to catch. The telecast was clear and it would be an understatement to say that the performances by Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan, Smt. Meenakshi Srinivasan, and Smt. Mythili Prakash were amazing! Here is the review that came in The Hindu.
On the final day of the Divinity series, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri. Narendra Modi walked in and suddenly all the cameras was on him. Subsequent news reports said that the audience’s eyes were also fixed on him!
it was a tough call for most members of the audience – whether to watch the riveting Bharatanatyam or watch even more riveting sight of Modi watching Bharatanatyam.
Giving an impromptu speech at the end, he said:
There was none of the jingoism or populism of his morning speech, only understated eulogy for the classical arts. And a pensive sigh for how we are losing it all to materialism. “I sometimes feel we don’t understand our own country and this huge heritage, we don’t even choose to own it.”…”The world talks of yoga today but Bharatnatayam encopasses (sic) all seven senses in a balanced and collective manner. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch this performance”
Another event that I have enjoyed in the past is Ananya, the dance festival at Purana Qila organized by Seher. Their webcasts of the performances and the discussions “Pratibimb” were the events not to be missed in my calendar, until 2011. Since last year, they are telecasted in DD Bharati, which is hard to find at least for me. I hope Seher listens to this blogger’s humble request of re-starting their webcast from next year. Having my finger’s crossed. 🙂
If you enjoyed Smt. Madhavi Mudgal and Smt. Leela Samson’s performance at the Asia Society NYC in the previous post. Read the review in the New York Times here
Moving on, Do you want to add some funk to your Bharatanatyam? Look no more than to Smt. Padmini Ravi and her daughter Smt. Lakshmi Khanna from Bengaluru. She says in this news article that she wants her new dance school called “Funky Guru” to
give the next generation of dancers the power to explore the full potential of this art and its million nuances…She wants her students to understand the concepts of rhythm and composition well enough to be able to convert prose or poem to an entire piece. “This is a process that teaches the nuts and bolts of the craft. It helps young children learn the art in a manner that is sustainable and not just picked up through rote”
Finally, this news
“Since I am a Bharatnatyam dancer, I wanted my eyes to be expressive. Facial expressions are very important in dance forms and it comes from eye movements. So, I opted for a cosmetic eye surgery to reduce excessive skin on the eyelids,” says Indora Soibam, 28, a resident of Imphal, Manipur.
The procedure mentioned in the article was an eye-opener to me (the pun definitely not intended).